Archive for May 27th, 2007

What About the Chief Cornerstone?

Sunday, May 27th, 2007

One portion of Rev. Chris Gordon’s sermon this morning at the Lynden United Reformed Church was based upon the parable of the wicked husbandmen (farmers, vinedressers). Following is the conclusion of that parable in Matthew 21:42-44:

Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes?

Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

It is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself who is the head of the corner, or chief cornerstone (figuratively, the most basic element; the foundation – from Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary).

There are some people who fall on Christ the chief cornerstone and are broken. This breaking is good, and speaks of repentance. These blessed ones are reconciled to God by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the only One by whom men may be saved.

For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. – I Timothy 2:5, 6

Those upon whom the Chief Cornerstone falls, however, will be ground to powder. This speaks of the consequences of not believing in Jesus Christ. Those who refuse Him will be crushed in eternal judgment.

Christ spoke at greater length about the closing of His kingdom to unbelievers (In this case, He was speaking to the unbelieving Jewish leaders.) in John 8:21-30:

Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come.

Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? Because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come.

And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.

I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning.

I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him.

They understood not that he spake to them of the Father.

Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.

And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

As he spake these words, many believed on him.

Christ says to the very ones who should have welcomed Him, who had the testimony of the law and the prophets, Ye shall die in your sins. This sad message is not only for the unbelieving Jews, but for all those who continue on in unbelief. They shall be crushed when the Chief Cornerstone falls upon them, when the wrath of God is poured out upon them in the place of eternal condemnation.

This portion of Scripture concludes with the hopeful words, Many believed on him. Those who fall on the Chief Cornerstone, in sorrow for their sins, and who look to Him in faith, are blessed when they consider the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ (John 8:28-30). The cross reveals Who Jesus is. Death could not hold Him. Through this humiliation, Christ is exalted, and revealed to be the I AM, Isaiah 43:11-13:

I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no savior.

I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God.

Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it?

Remember the Sabbath Day to Keep It Holy

Sunday, May 27th, 2007

If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:
Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.
– Isaiah 58:13,14

This is the fourth commandment:

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
– Exodus 20:8-11

In the Westminster Shorter Catechism, Question 60 asks, How is the sabbath to be sanctified?
The answer given is:

The sabbath is to be sanctified by a holy resting all that day, even from such worldly employments and recreations as are lawful on other days; and spending the whole time in the publick and private exercises of God’s worship, except so much as is to be taken up in the works of necessity and mercy.

Question 61 asks, What is forbidden in the fourth commandment?

The fourth commandment forbiddeth the omission or careless performance of the duties required, and the profaning the day by idleness, or doing that which is in itself sinful, or by unnecessary thoughts, words, or works, about our worldly employments or recreations.

Scripture references are given in the Shorter Catechism substantiating the answers given. An online version of the Westminster Shorter Catechism is available to those who would like to quickly and easily access these references.